The Ben & JD Hayes-trained galloper had race four in his keeping with 100m to go before seemingly going amiss with 50m to run.
“He’s broken down, Autissiodorum,” cried caller Ric McIntosh as the gelding went from two lengths clear to fourth in the blink of an eye.
However, a post-race vet examination revealed no abnormalities at all, with jockey Luke Nolen and the Hayes brothers left scratching their heads.
“I thought he was home for all money,” JD Hayes told Punters.
“He’s pulled up a million dollars today, so it was just a really frustrating thing to happen.
“I think he saw the winning post and shied. He’s never been past it first in his career and he was going to do it easily.
“Hopefully he’s better for the experience and we’ll look to put a bit of head gear on him in the hope that he runs through the line next time.”
Autissiodorum wasn’t the only horse to feature prominently in the stewards’ report, with high drama at the start of the event as well.
While Thornton was able to remain in the saddle, he was forced to retire the rogue three-year-old from the event after less than 100m.
It was the third time in just six starts that Shadowheart has failed to complete a race after tossing his rider at Geelong on two separate occasions last year.
The talented but wild gelding has been suspended from racing until he can perform to the satisfaction of stewards in two consecutive barrier trials.
While it‘s very much back to the drawing board with Shadowheart, Hayes hopes the application of a set of blinkers or visors will straighten Autissiodorum out.
“The main thing is that the horse is okay. He‘s a horse that can go off his feed but he’s eating today, which is great. We just need to work on his concentration.
“He might be living in blinkers for the rest of his life,” said Hayes.
The young co-trainer hoped his first ever runner with Ben would be his sickest beat, but Autissiodorum may have stolen the ‘honour’.
“My first ever runner was my sickest watch before yesterday. A horse called Finance Choice ($1.55F) stepped from barrier one and headbutted the ground straight away.
“It‘s a character-building game.”